If you have been injured, you are likely to be feeling hurt and angry. The thought of embarking on a personal injury claim is likely to be daunting and perhaps undesirable. In this article, we are going to outline the steps involved in the personal injury process.
Step One: Consider And Answer The Qualifying Questions
At the very start of the personal injury process, it is necessary to consider whether your injury or accident is eligible and likely to qualify as a pursuable claim. To evaluate this, you should answer the following two questions:
- Have you been injured at work, in a car accident, at home or outdoors, through no fault of your own?
- Did this accident happen within the last 3 years?
Step Two: Seek Professional Advice From A Personal Injury Solicitor
If you have answered ‘yes’ to either of the questions in step one, then you need to seek specialist advice. Personal injury law is complicated, but with the help of a personal injury solicitor, the process of making a claim can be quite straightforward. Many people shy away from using a solicitor because they think it will be too expensive or that they won’t understand the ‘legal speak’.
Fortunately, this is not the case and we’ll show you the process of making a personal injury compensation claim: –
Look for solicitors who are specialists in personal injury law. Check out the following:
- Client testimonials on their website.
- Are they a long-established firm and do they have at least 5 years of experience in handling personal injury compensation claims?
- Do the specialise in the type of personal injury you have suffered, e.g. RTA, spinal cord injury, accident at work etc.?
- Are they members of relevant organisations (the Law Society Personal Injury Panel, the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers etc.) and qualified to give you the advice you need?
- Will they be open and honest with you about your rights and the chances of you winning compensation?
- Do they offer a free initial consultation and give advice on funding options, including a ‘NO WIN, NO FEE’ agreement?
Step Three: Book A Free Consultation With Your Chosen Personal Injury Solicitor
When you’ve found an appropriate solicitor using the criteria above, make an appointment for your free initial consultation. Meeting the solicitor who will handle your claim is very important. You will want to feel comfortable with him or her as you may be required to divulge personal and painful details about your injuries. Choose a personal injury solicitor who is approachable and willing to explain what is going on, rather than one who prefers to keep you in the dark.
He or she will assess the prospects of winning your case, review all the funding options available to you and consider if you are best supported with a ‘NO WIN, NO FEE’ agreement. If you do not win the case, you do not have to pay any fees at all. For you, it is a no-risk decision and you, therefore, have everything to gain.
Step Four: Instruct A Personal Injury Solicitor
When you have decided that you are happy to instruct the solicitor he/she will establish the details of your case, what happened and the injuries incurred. Medical evidence will be gathered from the hospital you attended after your accident and from your GP. You may need to be examined by a medical expert to support your claim and your solicitor will suggest a relevant expert.
Step Five: Your Solicitor Will Handle Your Claim
Letter Of Claim
Your solicitor will then send a letter of claim to the person or company you are holding responsible for your accident (this is the defendant). If the defendant admits liability, then your solicitor will try and settle your claim out of court.
Claim Value Assessment
Your solicitor will tell you how much your claim is worth based on the type of accident, the severity of your injuries, any ongoing treatment that will be required, loss of earnings, expenses incurred etc. He/she will also ask you the amount you are prepared to accept as you may want to make an offer to the defendant (known as a Part 36 Offer) in order to settle out of court, but your solicitor will advise on the best course of action to take.
Court Action (Only If The Defendant Denies Liability)
If the defendant denies liability, your solicitor may go to court to challenge the defendant and ask the court to award you compensation.
Your solicitor will keep you updated at every stage of the process and will always be available to answer any questions you may have. With the help of an experienced solicitor, the process is easier and quicker, with your chances of winning compensation greatly increased.
We’re Accredited Personal Injury Specialists
At Simpkins & Co Solicitors, we have 25 years of experience in successfully winning all kinds of personal injury compensation claims. We are Law Society Accredited Personal Injury Specialists, personal injury members of the Law Society Personal Injury Panel and members of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).
Contact us at our Highcliffe office on 01425 275555 for a FREE, without obligation, initial consultation or visit www.simpkinsand.co.uk.
Think You Have A Claim?
Our accredited personal injury solicitors are ready to help you. If you think you have a claim, complete our personal injury claims form and one of our friendly, experienced solicitors will be in touch.